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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:40 pm
by cgundersen
i thought mountaineer was serious........was waiting to hear from someone who tried it.......

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:39 pm
by giantbrookie
cgundersen wrote:Anyway, then I have a question for the "experts" out there (though I'm not sure quite what expertise is needed here). Long ago, I had the good fortune of walking along the shore of a small Sierra lake when a rockslide kicked up across the lake (initiated by some unseen "trundler"?). Aside from the obvious cacaphony and waterspouts accompanying the rocks that rolled into the lake, the other unexpected consequence was jumping fish: with each rock/boulder that hit the water, the surface exploded with dozens, if not hundreds of leaping trout. Being curious (but not malicious), I have, of course, tested whether this phenomenon can be artificially recreated. On the several occasions that I have rolled rocks into trout-infested waters, one can induce the same leaping behavior. So, the question for the experts is: is this a uniform behavior among trout (because I tend to go backpacking for the peace and tranquility, I have not done this experiment enough to know how reproducible it is, but I'd guess I'm 5 of 5 or thereabouts)? Does it serve a purpose (other than entertainment); after all, are jumping fish any less prone to get crushed by falling rocks? Or, is it just a startle response? Obviously, these musings are partly rhetorical, but I'm also curious whether the tsunami Bruce kicked up included leaping trout, though, perhaps it was just too extreme for the fish to respond?

I can't say I've ever tried or tested this because it's been my observation that a single rock thrown, intentionally or otherwise, tends to spook trout. Most trout I've seen cruising run for the deep when a rock hits the surface, unlike spawning largemouth bass that go take a look at the rock sinking to see if it's something to eat. It's possible that if the rock or rockfall is big enough that it may generate enough of a shock wave to provoke some sort of startle response--perhaps the single rock or so I've accidentally loosed on occasion wasn't big enough to do this. I do know that it possible for the shockwave to be too big. I've heard of folks who depth charged trout with boulders--this temporarily stuns the fish, I'm told, and thus stunned they float to the surface.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:14 pm
by cgundersen
Hi GB,
I think that this is a situation where size matters......I've seen plenty of trout attracted to tiny pebbles that I've tossed into lakes. Bigger rocks definitely spook them. It's the much bigger varieties (rocks or small boulders that are within the limits of what I, with or without co-conspirators, can send rolling into a lake) that generate the leaping behavior I mentioned. The only times I've been provoked to do this in the last decade is when I've led neophytes into the Sierras and if they appear insufficiently seduced by the surroundings, I resort to more "pagan" distractions. It may not be a general treatment for ADHD, but it has worked...... sometimes, it's been hard to quell the fervor, once the spectacle is underway. What usually happens is that the array of easy-to-roll rocks is quickly depleted leaving only the hernia-inducers and that restores tranquility (and saves the poor fish).